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Matéria: irrealidade, ilusão, fantasma

quinta-feira 24 de março de 2022

III. 6. 7
(Armstrong   Selection and Translation from the Enneads  )

[Matter, Plotinus   has just said, is not body or soul or mind or life or form or limit or potency. He proceeds to describe its essential falseness and unreality, its phantasmal character, and that of the material things which are formed in it.]

Matter falls outside all these categories, and cannot even rightly be spoken of as being. It could appropriately be called non-being; not in the sense in which movement or rest are not being, but truly non-being. It is a ghostly image of bulk, a tendency towards substantial existence; it is at rest, but not in any resting-place; it is invisible in itself and escapes any attempt to see it, and appears when one is not looking; even if you look closely you cannot see it. It always has opposite appearances in itself, small and great, less and more, deficient and superabundant, a phantom which does not remain, and cannot get away either: for it has no strength even for this, since it has not received strength from Nous but is lacking in all being. Whatever announcement it makes, therefore, is a lie. If it appears great, it is small, if more, it is less: its apparent being is not real, but a sort of fleeting frivolity. Hence the things which seem to come into being in it are frivolities, nothing but phantoms in a phantom, like something in a mirror which really exists in one place but is reflected in another. It seems to be filled but holds nothing; it is all seeming. ’Imitations of real beings pass into and out of it’, ghosts into a formless ghost, visible because of its formlessness. They seem to act on it, but do nothing, for they are wraith-like and feeble and have no thrust; nor does matter thrust against them, but they go through without making a cut, as if through water, or as if someone in a way projected shapes in the void people talk about.